Bringing together the biggest teams from across European football, the UEFA Champions League’s 2021/22 group stages are about to get under way.
Chelsea go into this season’s competition as defending champions, following their victory over reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in last season’s final. And they’re also holders of the 2021 UEFA Super Cup, having recently defeated Europa League champions Villareal on penalties to claim that trophy.
If you’re a fan of Manchester City, Liverpool or Manchester United, you’ll also be able to see them in action during the Champions League group stages. Here’s how you can keep up to date over the coming weeks.
Watch Champions League fixtures live in the UK
In the UK, BT Sport is the exclusive rights-holder for the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and the brand new Europa Conference League.
If you’re not already a BT Sport member, the easiest way to sign up is by getting a Monthly Pass. Priced at £25 per month for 30 days’ access, it’s a contract-free offering. While monthly passes renew automatically, you can cancel whenever you wish.
You can use the BT Sport app (which you’ll need to download if you don’t already have it) or web player at sport.bt.com to watch the game, and can log in on two different devices and watch up to two different channels at once.
Alternatively, you can use the BT Sport Monthly Pass to watch using iOS, Android, Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One, Apple TV, Android TV, NOW’s devices, Amazon Fire TV devices (excluding Fire TV sticks), Roku players, and Sony PlayStation 4.
Related: How to watch La Liga in the UK
However, you can’t watch on set-top boxes from TV providers (including BT, Sky and Virgin).
Other purchase options are also available on contract, if you’re interested in other BT channels or BT Broadband. More info on those here.
Remember that as well as European football, you can also watch selected Premier League fixtures plus action from Ligue 1 in France and Serie A in Italy on BT Sport – don’t forget you can still watch WWE, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby coverage.
Champions’ League fixtures: What’s happening on Matchday 1 in the group stages?
It’s an early kick-off in Berne for Manchester United on Tuesday, September 14, who have an away fixture against Young Boys starting at 5.45pm. They are in Group F, which also includes Villareal (who beat them in that unreal penalty shoot-out in the Europa League final last season) and Atalanta. Coverage starts at 5pm on BT Sport 2.
Chelsea are also playing on Tuesday, hosting Zenit Saint Petersburg, with an 8pm kick-off. Placed in Group H, they will also face Juventus and Malmö FF. Coverage starts at 7.45pm on BT Sport 2, immediately after United’s game.
On Wednesday, September 15, Liverpool start their group campaign at Anfield against AC Milan. Kick-off is at 8pm, and their Group B rivals also include Atlético Madrid and Porto. Coverage commences at 7pm on BT Sport 2.
And a few junctions down the M62 (or stops down the TransPennine train line, if you prefer), Manchester City have a home game against RB Leipzig, also kicking off on Wednesday at 8pm. They’re in Group A, which also includes Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge. Coverage begins at 7.15pm on BT Sport 3.
For newcomers to the tournament, there are eight groups, each containing four clubs, with teams drawn by a very elaborate system.
The top two teams in each group will move forward to the knockout stage of the Champions’ League, while the third-placed team in each group will find their way into the Europa League just in time for the knockout stage. Unfortunately for the last-placed teams, they will, to adopt a well-worn footballing cliché, have more time to ‘concentrate on the league’.
The group stages continue over the next few months, with Matchday 6 due to take place on Tuesday, December 7 and Wednesday, December 8. The Round of 16 draw, setting the fixtures for the first knockout round, will take place on Monday, December 13.
To keep up to date with all the Champions League results and upcoming fixtures for the 2021/22 group stages and beyond, head to the UEFA website. And for BT Sport’s rolling ‘what’s on’ page, head this way.
This season’s Champions League final location and date has already been announced, if you’re into serious forward planning or very very optimistic about your favourite club’s chances of making the final. It will take place on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Zenit’s home ground, the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.
Watch Champions League fixtures live in the US
If you want to watch the Champions League (and the Europa League) in the United States, then Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access) is the place to head.
Via CBS Sports, it holds the rights to both tournaments until the end of the 2023/24 season, with every match available via streaming. Note that Paramount+ is not available in the UK.
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